Monday, November 24, 2014

Losing the art of reflection - a major disadvantage of technology

Technology has its advantages, many of which I admit are helpful. Information at our fingertips, keeping up with far away family and friends and giving the average person a voice can all be positive if used correctly.

One serious downside I've noticed is people's seeming inability to just be still. To be alone with our thoughts for even a moment. Sitting at the dentist office recently and I looked around to see every other person in the waiting room with their noses stuck to their phones. What use to be a few quiet moments to catch your breath between appointments, to close your eyes and reflect or pray or even strike up a conversation with the person next to you - these moments are gone; swallowed up by electronic sound bytes vying for our attention.

There are many things wrong with this scenario, but what hit me that day was how our love of technology has caused us to lose the ability to think introspectively; to take a look at our hearts, or better yet, allow the Lord to do so. Hopping on to play a round of Candy Crush, or text a friend about weekend plans is far easier than trying to think through what's been bugging us. It's easier to lose ourselves in the world of Facebook than to ask tough questions about why we responded the way we did to our spouse that morning. Technology at our fingertips is stripping us of the ability and desire to just be quiet. For some of us quiet is scary, so we keep our minds busy with the unimportant.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." Psalm 139:23

Stillness and quiet reflection is a difficult discipline, but one we must not ignore. No matter how hard we try to deflect, ignore or downplay, the junk in our lives is still there. The only way to get rid of it is to walk through it. Maybe it's time to put down the phone and listen to the One who already knows our hearts and is waiting to walk us through all the messy parts. 

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